Creating an online model for volunteer academic tutors to support disadvantaged students
The Access Project matches volunteer graduates with young people from disadvantaged areas for weekly academic tutorials in the student’s chosen subject. These tutorials enable students to raise their attainment and secure a good grade at GCSE or A-level, which in turn enables them to progress to a top university.
Through this academic tuition, and in-school university support, The Access Project has established a strong track record of enabling economically disadvantaged students at schools across London and the Midlands to gain places at some of the top universities in the country.
Currently, volunteer tutors give an hour a week of their time at their workplace to tutor a student. The in-school university support pupils receive includes one to one meetings with an Access Project coordinator, small group workshops, university trips and bespoke support in areas such as Medicine, Law and Oxbridge applications.
Today, The Access Project supports over 900 disadvantaged young people from 21 schools in London and the West Midlands.
Young people in England are six times less likely to get to a top university if they come from disadvantaged backgrounds, research from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) suggests, and the relative gap is worsening.
This is important because top university graduates earn significantly more, on average, than graduates from less prestigious universities, and non-university graduates, according to the Sutton Trust.
In order to help address this gap, The Access Project runs a successful face-to-face academic tutoring programme, which enables students to make an extra 9 months’ academic progress compared to their peers in school. Now, with support of the grant, the organisation hopes to create an online tutoring programme which will allow recruitment of volunteer academic tutors in business hubs and match them with students in hard to reach regions. This will allow The Access Project to achieve their aim of growing to support 2,000 students by 2020.
To achieve their vision of supporting 2,000 students by 2020, The Access Project have developed a business plan that focuses on growth, impact and sustainability.
By September 2018, they aim to reach at least 50 disadvantaged students in five schools in London and the Midlands with online tutorials. They then aim to scale their programme further, with a focus on areas where university progression is often at its lowest, and where disadvantaged young people can benefit most from the programme.
The long-term goal is to establish how to deliver online tuition while maintaining the impact of student attainment, and then fully embed it into the programme. This new flexibility will allow The Access Project to work with more schools in areas of low university progression across the country.
For more information about The Access Project contact: Karen Benge